Schatzi: In Eli’s family, a person gets to pick what they want for a birthday cake. Considering some of the cakes I’ve had at my birthdays, this does seem practical, though it loses the enjoyable element of surprise. I had planned to bake him a Red Velvet Cake for his birthday, since he’s Southern, but he announced that what he wanted most in the world was a pound cake, an orange pound cake, to be exact. Being a dutiful girlfriend, I complied. None of my cookbooks had an orange pound cake recipe, so I was toying with altering a standard recipe when I came across this Ina Garten recipe online.
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup grated orange zest (6 oranges)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
TO GLAZE ONE LOAF (optional):
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Heat oven to 350, and grease and flour two loaf pans. As usual, I used Pam with Flour, because I love it.
- Cream the butter and 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Put the mixer on medium and then add the eggs one at a time. Once the eggs are integrated, add the orange zest.
- In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt with a whisk. In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the dry and wet mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide between the two pans, smoothing the tops.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until testers come out clean. (Mine took longer, but I have a tiny, worthless oven.) Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a rack.
- Make the syrup by heating the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon over the warm cakes until out of syrup, and then let the cakes cool completely.
- Once they have cooled, make the glaze. There is only enough glaze for one cake, so wrap the other in plastic and put in the freezer for future use. Take 1 cup confectioners sugar, sift it, then add about 2 Tbs of orange juice and whisk until it is a runny glaze. Drizzle over the cake.
The glaze really isn’t necessary, though, as the cakes are delicious regardless. Eli loved his, as did everyone else who tried it. I however, had some weird issue where I thought they tasted like pennies. But I’m crazy.